Majority of league players 'have witnessed racist abuse' at football, claims new survey

The biggest support for the 'Rooney rule' was from white players

More than half the professional footballers in England have witnessed or suffered racist abuse in stadiums, a survey has revealed.

The poll of 200 players in the Premier League and Football League was carried out by football’s anti-discrimination group Kick It Out.

The players, of whom a third were from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, overwhelmingly backed bringing the “Rooney rule” into English football to give black coaches greater opportunities.

The survey follows high-profile criticism of Kick It Out by players such as Jason Roberts and Rio Ferdinand after the John Terry and Luis Suarez racist abuse cases.

Results of the poll suggest 57 per cent of players have witnessed, and 24 per cent have been subjected to, racist abuse at matches. Seven per cent have been subjected to, and 20 per cent have witnessed, racist abuse on the training ground or in the dressing room.

In addition, 62 per cent of players felt mandatory shortlisting should be in place for black and minority ethnic candidates applying for coaching or administration jobs.

Paul Mortimer, the former Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace player who was appointed as Kick It Out’s professional player engagement manager partly in response to criticism of the campaign, said carrying out the survey was an important first step.

“These statistics show what players see from the pitch and in the training grounds,” he said. “Now we have these figures we can go ahead and do something about it, pinpoint areas and put strategies in place.”

Support for the “Rooney rule”, named after the regulation in American football whereby clubs have to interview at least one black or ethnic minority candidate when appointing coaches, came from both black and white players.

“In fact, the biggest portion of support for that was from white players. Across the board people looked at that,” Mortimer added. “I am a black coach who found it difficult to find management roles and all you want is a fair opportunity to fight for the job, to be able to be interviewed and judged, and to know what the procedure is and for it to be transparent.”

The survey results showed 65 per cent of players were aware of the process to report abuse and were confident about doing so, while 91 per cent said social media had led to a big increase in abuse.

“It is a huge problem,” said Mortimer. “We have a reporting app which players can report social media abuse on and we also want to educate people in how to handle abuse, such as not responding in person.”

Mortimer has held talks with Kick It Out’s leading critics Roberts and Jason Brown, and plans to speak to Ferdinand too.

“What I am trying to say to all of them is that has happened and now it’s where we go from there,” he said. “From now onwards we can come together and really be a voice, but if there are factions it loses power.”

PA

News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?